Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Genetics and Molecular Biology]]> vol. 37 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Association of T174M polymorphism of angiotensinogen gene with essential hypertension</b>: <b>a meta-analysis</b>]]> The association between T174M polymorphism of angiotensinogen gene and essential hypertension risk remains controversial. We herein performed a meta-analysis to achieve a reliable estimation of their relationship. All the studies published up to May 2013 on the association between T174M polymorphism and essential hypertension risk were identified by searching the electronic repositories PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE, Springer, Elsevier Science Direct, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar. Data were extracted and pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. Ultimately, nine eligible studies, including 2188 essential hypertension cases and 2459 controls, were enrolled in this meta-analysis. No significant associations were found under the overall ORs for M-allele comparison (M vs. T, pooled OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.62-1.37), MM vs. TT (pooled OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.29-2.51), TM vs. TT n (pooled OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.63-1.32), recessive model (MM vs. TT+TM, pooled OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.35-2.30), dominant model (MM+TM vs. TT, pooled OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.60-1.38) between T174M polymorphism and risk for essential hypertension. This meta-analysis suggested that the T174M polymorphism of the angiotensinogen gene might not be associated with the susceptibility of essential hypertension in Asian or European populations. <![CDATA[<b>Transcriptional profile of fibroblasts obtained from the primary site, lymph node and bone marrow of breast cancer patients</b>]]> Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) influence tumor development at primary as well as in metastatic sites, but there have been no direct comparisons of the transcriptional profiles of stromal cells from different tumor sites. In this study, we used customized cDNA microarrays to compare the gene expression profile of stromal cells from primary tumor (CAF, n = 4), lymph node metastasis (N+, n = 3) and bone marrow (BM, n = 4) obtained from breast cancer patients. Biological validation was done in another 16 samples by RT-qPCR. Differences between CAF vs N+, CAF vs BM and N+ vs BM were represented by 20, 235 and 245 genes, respectively (SAM test, FDR < 0.01). Functional analysis revealed that genes related to development and morphogenesis were overrepresented. In a biological validation set, NOTCH2 was confirmed to be more expressed in N+ (vs CAF) and ADCY2, HECTD1, HNMT, LOX, MACF1, SLC1A3 and USP16 more expressed in BM (vs CAF). Only small differences were observed in the transcriptional profiles of fibroblasts from the primary tumor and lymph node of breast cancer patients, whereas greater differences were observed between bone marrow stromal cells and the other two sites. These differences may reflect the activities of distinct differentiation programs. <![CDATA[<b>Gender-dependent association of <i>HSD11B1</i> single nucleotide polymorphisms with glucose and HDL-C levels</b>]]> In this study, we investigated the influence of two SNPs (rs846910 and rs12086634) of the HSD11B1 gene that encodes 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1(11β-HSD1), the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of cortisol to cortisone, on variables associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome in 215 individuals of both sexes from southern Brazil. The HSD11B1 gene variants were genotyped using the TaqMan SNP genotyping assay. Glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were measured by standard automated methods. Significant results were found in women, with carriers of the G allele of SNP rs12086634 having higher glucose levels than non-carriers. Carriers of the A allele of SNP rs846910 had higher levels of HDL-cholesterol. The involvement of both polymorphisms as independent factors in determining the levels of glucose and HDL-cholesterol was confirmed by multiple regression analysis (β = 0.19 ± 0.09, p = 0.03 and β = 0.22 ± 0.10, p = 0.03, respectively). Our findings suggest that the HSD11B1SNPs studied may indirectly influence glucose and HDL-cholesterol metabolism in women, possibly through down-regulation of the HSD11B1 gene by estrogen. <![CDATA[<b>Association between cervical lesion grade and micronucleus frequency in the Papanicolaou test</b>]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the frequency of micronuclei (MN) and the cellular changes detected in the conventional Papanicolaou test. One hundred and seventy-four Papanicolaou test smears with cellular changes were examined. MN screening was done in cytopathological smears by counting 1,000 cervical cells in a light microscope. MN frequencies were significantly higher in the group with cellular changes compared to the control group (p < 0.001). The mean MN frequencies were 0.95 ± 1.12 (mean ± SD) in the control group (n = 223), 2.98 ± 1.20 in individuals with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) (n = 50), 4.04 ± 1.45 in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) I (n = 52), 5.97 ± 1.83 in CIN II (n = 30), 7.29 ± 1.55 in CIN III (n = 17) and 8.64 ± 1.55 in invasive cancer (n = 25). These findings suggest that MN monitoring should be included as an additional criterion for the early detection of cytogenetic damage in routine examinations. This monitoring should be done in the same smear as used for cytopathological examination. More specific and systematic studies are necessary to confirm this proposal. <![CDATA[<b>Validation of reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis of CYP4T expression in crucian carp</b>]]> Reference genes are commonly used for normalization of target gene expression during RT-qPCR analysis. However, no housekeeping genes or reference genes have been identified to be stable across different tissue types or under different experimental conditions. To identify the most suitable reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis of target gene expression in the hepatopancreas of crucian carp (Carassius auratus) under various conditions (sex, age, water temperature, and drug treatments), seven reference genes, including beta actin (ACTB), beta-2 microglobulin (B2M), embryonic elongation factor-1 alpha (EEF1A), glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), alpha tubulin (TUBA), ribosomal protein l8 (RPL8) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), were evaluated in this study. The stability and ranking of gene expression were analyzed using three different statistical programs: GeNorm, Normfinder and Bestkeeper. The expression errors associated with selection of the genes were assessed by the relative quantity of CYP4T. The results indicated that all the seven genes exhibited variability under the experimental conditions of this research, and the combination of ACTB/TUBA/EEF1A or of ACTB/EEF1A was the best candidate that raised the accuracy of quantitative analysis of gene expression. The findings highlighted the importance of validation of housekeeping genes for research on gene expression under different conditions of experiment and species. <![CDATA[<b>Molecular cloning and mRNA expression of the peptidoglycan recognition protein gene HcPGRP1 and its isoform HcPGRP1a from the freshwater mussel <i>Hyriopsis cumingi</i></b>]]> Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) are innate immune molecules that have been structurally conserved throughout evolution in invertebrates and vertebrates. In this study, peptidoglycan recognition protein HcPGRP1 and its isoform HcPGRP1a were identified in the freshwater mussel Hyriopsis cumingii. The full-length cDNAs of HcPGRP1 (973 bp) and HcPGRP1a (537 bp) encoded polypeptides with 218 and 151 amino acids, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that HcPGRP1 had one C-terminal PGRP domain that was conserved throughout evolution. Phylogenetic analysis showed that HcPGRP1 clustered closely with EsPGRP4 of Euprymna scolopes. Real-time PCR showed that the mRNA transcripts of HcPGRP1 and HcPGRP1a were constitutively expressed in various tissues, with the highest level in hepatopancreas. Stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and peptidoglycan (PGN) significantly up-regulated HcPGRP1 mRNA expression in hepatopancreas and foot, but not in gill, whereas HcPGRP1a expression was significantly up-regulated in all three tissues. Our results indicate that HcPGRP1 is both a constitutive and inducible protein that may be involved in immune responses (recognition and defense) against invaders. <![CDATA[<b>Alternative parameterizations of relatedness in whole genome association analysis of pre-weaning traits of Nelore-Angus calves</b>]]> Gestation length, birth weight, and weaning weight of F2 Nelore-Angus calves (n = 737) with designed extensive full-sibling and half-sibling relatedness were evaluated for association with 34,957 SNP markers. In analyses of birth weight, random relatedness was modeled three ways: 1) none, 2) random animal, pedigree-based relationship matrix, or 3) random animal, genomic relationship matrix. Detected birth weight-SNP associations were 1,200, 735, and 31 for those parameterizations respectively; each additional model refinement removed associations that apparently were a result of the built-in stratification by relatedness. Subsequent analyses of gestation length and weaning weight modeled genomic relatedness; there were 40 and 26 trait-marker associations detected for those traits, respectively. Birth weight associations were on BTA14 except for a single marker on BTA5. Gestation length associations included 37 SNP on BTA21, 2 on BTA27 and one on BTA3. Weaning weight associations were on BTA14 except for a single marker on BTA10. Twenty-one SNP markers on BTA14 were detected in both birth and weaning weight analyses. <![CDATA[<b>Cytogenetics of the Brazilian <i>Bolitoglossa paraensis</i> (Unterstein, 1930) salamanders (Caudata, Plethodontidae)</b>]]> Plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa constitute the largest and most diverse group of salamanders, including around 20% of living caudate species. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of five recognized species in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. We present here the first cytogenetic data of a Brazilian salamander, which may prove to be a useful by contribution to the cytotaxonomy of the genus. Specimens were collected near the "type" locality (Utinga, Belém, PA, Brazil). Chromosomal preparations from duodenal epithelial cells and testes were subjected to Giemsa staining, C-banding and DAPI/CMA3 fluorochrome staining. All specimens showed a karyotype with 13 bi-armed chromosome pairs (2n = 26). Nucleolar Organizer Regions, evidenced by CMA3, were located distally on the long arm of pair 7 (7q). DAPI+ heterochromatin was predominantly centromeric, with some small pericentromeric bands. Although the C-banding patterns of other Bolitoglossa species are so far unknown, cytogenetic studies conducted in other Plethodontid salamanders have demonstrated that pericentromeric heterochromatin is a useful cytological marker for identifying interspecific homeologies. Species diversification is usually accompanied by chromosomal changes. Therefore, the cytogenetic characterization of Bolitoglossa populations from the middle and western Brazilian Amazon Basin could identify differences which may lead to the identification of new species. <![CDATA[<b>Characterization of the third SERK gene in pineapple (<i>Ananas comosus</i>) and analysis of its expression and autophosphorylation activity <i>in vitro</i></b>]]> Two somatic embryogenesis receptor-like kinase genes (identified as AcSERK1 and AcSERK2) have previously been characterized from pineapple (Ananas comosus). In this work, we describe the characterization of a third gene (AcSERK3) in this family. AcSERK3 had all the characteristic domains and shared extensive sequence homology with other plant SERKs. AcSERK3 expression was studied by in situ hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR to analyze its function. Intense in situ hybridization signals were observed only in single competent cells and competent cell clusters; no hybridization signal was detected in the subsequent stages of somatic embryogenesis. AcSERK3 was highly expressed in embryogenic callus compared to other organs, e.g., 20-80 fold more than in anther but similar to that of non-embryogenic callus, which was 20-50 fold that of anther. AcSERK3 expression in root was 80 fold higher than in anther and the highest amongst all organs tested. These results indicate that AcSERK3 plays an important role in callus proliferation and root development. His-tagged AcSERK3 protein was successfully expressed and the luminescence of His6-AcSERK3 protein was only ~5% of that of inactivated AcSERK3 protein and reaction buffer without protein, and 11.3% of that of an extract of host Escherichia coli pET-30a. This finding confirmed that the AcSERK3 fusion protein had autophosphorylation activity. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic variation in cultivated <i>Rheum tanguticum</i> populations</b>]]> To examine whether cultivation reduced genetic variation in the important Chinese medicinal plant Rheum tanguticum, the levels and distribution of genetic variation were investigated using ISSR markers. Fifty-eight R. tanguticum individuals from five cultivated populations were studied. Thirteen primers were used and a total of 320 DNA bands were scored. High levels of genetic diversity were detected in cultivated R. tanguticum (PPB = 82.19, H = 0.2498, H B = 0.3231, I = 0.3812) and could be explained by the outcrossing system, as well as long-lived and human-mediated seed exchanges. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that more genetic variation was found within populations (76.1%) than among them (23.9%). This was supported by the coefficient of gene differentiation (Gst = 0.2742) and Bayesian analysis (θB = 0.1963). The Mantel test revealed no significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances among populations (r = 0.1176, p = 0.3686). UPGMA showed that the five cultivated populations were separated into three clusters, which was in good accordance with the results provided by the Bayesian software STRUCTURE (K = 3). A short domestication history and no artificial selection may be an effective way of maintaining and conserving the gene pools of wild R. tanguticum. <![CDATA[<b>Molecular characterization of the <i>Jatropha curcas JcR1MYB1</i> gene encoding a putative R1-MYB transcription factor</b>]]> The cDNA encoding the R1-MYB transcription factor, designated as JcR1MYB1, was isolated from Jatropha curcas using rapid amplification of cDNA ends. JcR1MYB1 contains a 951 bp open reading frame that encodes 316 amino acids. The deduced JcR1MYB1 protein was predicted to possess the conserved, 56-amino acid-long DNA-binding domain, which consists of a single helix-turn-helix module and usually occurs in R1-MYBs. JcR1MYB1 is a member of the R1-MYB transcription factor subfamily. A subcellular localization study confirmed the nuclear localization of JcR1MYB1. Expression analysis showed that JcR1MYB1 transcripts accumulated in various examined tissues, with high expression levels in the root and low levels in the stem. JcR1MYB1 transcription was up-regulated by polyethylene glycol, NaCl, and cold treatments, as well as by abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene treatment. Analysis of transgenic tobacco plants over-expressing JcR1MYB1 indicates an inportant function for this gene in salt stress. <![CDATA[<b>Detection of self-incompatible oilseed rape plants (<i>Brassica napus</i> L.) based on molecular markers for identification of the class I <i>S</i> haplotype</b>]]> The selection of desirable genotypes with recessive characteristics, such as self-incompatible plants, is often difficult or even impossible and represents a crucial barrier in accelerating the breeding process. Molecular approaches and selection based on molecular markers can allow breeders to overcome this limitation. The use of self-incompatibility is an alternative in hybrid breeding of oilseed rape. Unfortunately, stable self-incompatibility is recessive and phenotype-based selection is very difficult and time-consuming. The development of reliable molecular markers for detecting desirable plants with functional self-incompatible genes is of great importance for breeders and allows selection at early stages of plant growth. Because most of these reliable molecular markers are based on discrimination of class I S-locus genes that are present in self-compatible plants, there is a need to use an internal control in order to detect possible PCR inhibition that gives false results during genotyping. In this study, 269 double haploid F2 oilseed rape plants obtained by microspore embryogenesis were used to verify the applicability of an improved PCR assay based on the detection of the class I SLG gene along with an internal control. Comparative analysis of the PCR genotyping results vs. S phenotype analysis confirmed the applicability of this molecular approach in hybrid breeding programs. This approach allows accurate detection of self-incompatible plants via a different amplification profile. <![CDATA[<b>Cultivable bacteria isolated from apple trees cultivated under different crop systems</b>: <b>Diversity and antagonistic activity against <i>Colletotrichum gloeosporioides</i></b>]]> This study evaluated the diversity of cultivable plant growth-promoting (PGP) bacteria associated with apple trees cultivated under different crop management systems and their antagonistic ability against Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Samples of roots and rhizospheric soil from apple trees cultivated in organic and conventional orchards in southern Brazil were collected, together with soil samples from an area never used for agriculture (native field). Bacteria were identified at the genus level by PCR-RFLP and partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA, and were evaluated for some PGP abilities. The most abundant bacterial genera identified were Enterobacter (27.7%), Pseudomonas (18.7%), Burkholderia (13.7%), and Rahnella (12.3%). Sixty-nine isolates presented some antagonist activity against C. gloeosporioides. In a greenhouse experiment, five days after exposure to C. gloeosporioides, an average of 30% of the leaf area of plants inoculated with isolate 89 (identified as Burkholderia sp.) were infected, whereas 60 to 73% of the leaf area of untreated plants was affected by fungal attack. Our results allowed us to infer how anthropogenic activity is affecting the bacterial communities in soil associated with apple tree crop systems, and to obtain an isolate that was able to delay the emergence of an important disease for this culture. <![CDATA[<b>Detection and characterization of <i>Wolbachia</i> infection in silkworm</b>]]> Wolbachia naturally infects a wide variety of arthropods, where it plays important roles in host reproduction. It was previously reported that Wolbachia did not infect silkworm. By means of PCR and sequencing we found in this study that Wolbachia is indeed present in silkworm. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Wolbachia infection in silkworm may have occurred via transfer from parasitic wasps. Furthermore, Southern blotting results suggest a lateral transfer of the wsp gene into the genomes of some wild silkworms. By antibiotic treatments, we found that tetracycline and ciprofloxacin can eliminate Wolbachia in the silkworm and Wolbachia is important to ovary development of silkworm. These results provide clues towards a more comprehensive understanding of the interaction between Wolbachia and silkworm and possibly other lepidopteran insects. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic diversity and structure of <i>Atta robusta</i> (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini), an endangered species endemic to the <i>restinga</i> ecoregion</b>]]> The genetic diversity and structure of the ant Atta robusta were assessed by ISSR (inter-simple sequence repeats) in 72 colonies collected from 10 localities in the Brazilian states of Espírito Santo (48 colonies) and Rio de Janeiro (24 colonies). The ISSR pattern included 67 bands, 51 of them (76.1%) polymorphic. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed a high level (57.4%) of inter-population variation, which suggested a high degree of genetic structure that was confirmed by UPGMA (unweighted pair-group method using an arithmetic average) cluster analysis. The significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances (r = 0.64, p < 0.05) indicated isolation that reflected the distance between locations. Overall, the populations were found to be genetically divergent. This finding indicates the need for management plans to preserve and reduce the risk of extinction of A. robusta. <![CDATA[<b>Molecular analysis of phylogeographic subspecies in three Ponto-Caspian sturgeon species</b>]]> Sturgeons (Order Acipenseriformes) represent an extremely valuable natural resource that is now facing depletion. In the current study we evaluate if the traditional classification in subspecies of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, Acipenser stellatus and Huso huso, endemic to Ponto-Caspian region is sustained by molecular analysis and if these represent Evolutionary Significant Units (ESUs) that should be managed separately in conservation programs. To examine the classification of taxonomic entities we sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial control region in case of three sturgeon species that inhabit the North-western of Black Sea and migrate for reproduction in the Lower Danube. Beside these sequences, we used previously published sequences from sturgeon individuals sampled in the Black Sea, Azov Sea and Caspian Sea. We determined the genetic diversity and genetic differentiation, conducted a Population Aggregation Analysis (PAA) and inferred an intraspecific molecular phylogeny and haplotype network. The results indicated a low level of genetic differentiation between the geographically designated subspecies and did not support a significant divergence or reciprocal monophyly between them. Our results confirm previous genetic studies with smaller samples sizes, but additional analyses including nuclear markers should be conducted for proper recommendations aiming at the development of conservation programs. <![CDATA[<b>Large-scale analysis of NBS domain-encoding resistance gene analogs in Triticeae</b>]]> Proteins containing nucleotide binding sites (NBS) encoded by plant resistance genes play an important role in the response of plants to a wide array of pathogens. In this paper, an in silico search was conducted in order to identify and characterize members of NBS-encoding gene family in the tribe of Triticeae. A final dataset of 199 sequences was obtained by four search methods. Motif analysis confirmed the general structural organization of the NBS domain in cereals, characterized by the presence of the six commonly conserved motifs: P-loop, RNBS-A, Kinase-2, Kinase-3a, RNBS-C and GLPL. We revealed the existence of 11 distinct distribution patterns of these motifs along the NBS domain. Four additional conserved motifs were shown to be significantly present in all 199 sequences. Phylogenetic analyses, based on genetic distance and parsimony, revealed a significant overlap between Triticeae sequences and Coiled coil-Nucleotide binding site-Leucine rich repeat (CNL)-type functional genes from monocotyledons. Furthermore, several Triticeae sequences belonged to clades containing functional homologs from non Triticeae species, which has allowed for these sequences to be functionally assigned. The findings reported, in this study, will provide a strong groundwork for the isolation of candidate R-genes in Triticeae crops and the understanding of their evolution.